Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Player Comings and Goings Part 2

More roster shuffle this week, both here in Colorado and across the pond in Blackburn.

Last night the Rapids won the "weighted lottery" that MLS held for the rights to Bruno Guarda, an attacking midfielder that has decided not to return to SMU for his senior season and instead go straight into MLS.

(MLS handles these type of players, who become available in midseason, in a similar way to the NBA Draft where every team gets a certain number of balls based on their record over the last season's worth of games. Its unclear how they handled the expansion Earthquakes, but the Rapids had the 3rd or 4th best chance at the player)

Guarda is a Brazilian who went to school at SMU and was expected to be a first round draft pick when he did come out. The fact that he's an international does lower the interest a bit, but he's an interesting young player that could push Ballouchy for playing time. The Rapids signed him to a contract today and made room for him by putting reserve GK Justin Hughes on the season-ending injury list.

The other twist to this signing is the fact that Guarda's former coach at SMU, Schellas Hyndman, just took the head coaching job at FC Dallas and has expressed interest in bringing Guarda to Texas. Dallas has just traded for two international spots, presumably to use one of them on Guarda. You would expect a trade to happen before the Rapids actually signed him and made a roster move to fit him into the squad, but perhaps the Rapids are trying to drive up his value by getting him under contract before making the deal.

Across the Atlantic Blackburn Rovers are also making moves in preparation for the upcoming EPL season. Today they announced that Big Bad Brad Friedel had been sold to Aston Villa for $4 million. Brad has been a rock in the back for Blackburn for the last few seasons, and his shoes will be hard to fill. He was also the reason I first started following Blackburn, but my interest int he team has grown beyond Friedel, so I won't be changing allegiances to Aston Villa (Though my Rapids gear would fit their color scheme). Brad Friedel will join Brad Guzan as the American 1-2 duo in the nets for Villa.

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